Eating through Disney: EPCOT

Planning and eating are two of my favorite things, so when it comes to planning where to eat on vacation, you know I’m all over it. I especially look forward to planning meals for our Disney trips, because there are just so many options. And with all the countries they have in EPCOT, it gets tough not to eat there every single day! Since they began offering the dining plan, we’ve taken full advantage which allows us for one table service meal each day of our stay. We ate in EPCOT twice; once in Italy on Saturday evening, and once in Mexico on Tuesday night.

Since I’m newly vegetarian (5 months strong!), eating in Disney this time around was definitely different, but no less delicious! I think I struggled the most in EPCOT’s countries because I wanted to try everything, and didn’t necessarily want to hassle anyone about my dietary restrictions. But, it was easy enough and I still enjoyed my meals and of course (maybe more importantly), drinks!


In order to prepare ourselves for the Marathon on Sunday, we had an early reservation in Italy at Tutto Italia on Saturday. Italy actually has two restaurants; we ate at Via Napoli two years ago so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try their other option. I ordered myself a big bowl of spaghetti (it came with meatballs but I had it without), and loved every bite. I didn’t take a picture just because it was a bowl of spaghetti (nothing super special), but trust me when I say it was yummy. Since we were on the Disney Dining plan, our meal also came with a drink and dessert. Even though I was full from my carb loading, I couldn’t pass up Italian dessert! I ordered the tiramisu and my husband had their cannoli at the suggestion of one of the waiters. He actually came over to tell us if we ordered the cannoli, not to use a fork, because it’s better with your hands. Obviously after that humor we had to try it! He noticed us enjoying the cannoli utensil-free and was psyched to see we took his advice. You know what they say; when in Rome…

Delicious cannoli with an awesome cinnamon plate design!

On Tuesday we had a late dinner reservation in Mexico’s La Hacienda de San Angel. We actually ate there last year, and figured we’d try our hand at a later reservation with a request to sit by the windows since the restaurant is on the Seven Seas Lagoon, where they shoot off fireworks for Illuminations. Ever since I began visiting Disney World (back in 1992!) my family has always eaten in Mexico, but up until my trip in 2011, there was only one restaurant – San Angel Inn. So I’ve been sure to keep the tradition alive and eat in Mexico on every trip (since it’s basically my favorite cuisine EVER), but vary the restaurants, which means next time it’s back to the Inn! Anyway, dinner was fabulous – we started with some melty cheese and tortillas and margaritas. Dinner was tacos with the most amazing sauce and crunchy cabbage for me, and pork for the husband. Everything was served with rice, beans, and tortillas… so much delicious food! We finished our meal just in time to enjoy the fireworks during dessert. They actually turn down the lights in the restaurants lining the lagoon, and broadcast the music into the restaurant itself – it was so awesome! I would highly recommend trying to get a reservation later in the evening (Illuminations are at 9p, so anytime after 8 works), and heading to the restaurant first thing that day to request a window seat (you can’t request it ahead of time).

My delicious tacos!

Prior to our meal in Mexico, though, we decided to sample some beer of the world. I know that a lot of marathoners do a “drink around the world” after the race, but I know that I would never last. And actually, it isn’t just marathoners that do it – I must have seen at least 5 different groups with special t-shirts just for drinking around the world. We started in Canada, and made a stop in the United Kingdom and Germany. To save on money and not to ruin our dinners, we shared the beers and then switched to a margarita during dinner (as mentioned above). I of course could have continued with drinks in all the other countries, but didn’t want to over do it. I give credit to the people that are able to legitimately drink their way through the countries – I don’t think I could do it!

In all of my trips to Disney, I’ve eaten in most countries, but there are some still on my to-try list, including Canada, Morocco, Germany, and France. It’s hard to make reservations at new restaurants when I’ve loved my experiences at all of the restaurants I’ve tried! I suppose that just means I’ll have to keep visiting every year – such a shame.

What’s your favorite Disney EPCOT restaurant? 

Dinner at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy

Our flight down to Orlando was super early – we were up at 3:45a to head to the Philadelphia airport after staying the night at our friend’s. Our flight was at 7a, and we were in sunny Orlando by 9a. We headed right to our hotel, Port Orleans Riverside, via Disney’s Magical Express bus. This seamless process allowed us to check in then head right to Epcot, instead of needing to wait for our bags (they deliver them right to your room!), or find transportation.

We spent our day exploring all of the countries, and riding Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission Space, and all the other fun rides Epcot has to offer. We also spent some time trying to figure out the race route for Saturday’s Half Marathon. After a full day of exploration, we ended with dinner at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy.

Our meal plan offered one quick service meal (meaning counter service similar to a cafeteria with trays) that included a drink, meal, and dessert, a table service meal that also included a drink, meal, and dessert, and one snack per day of your reservation. Let me tell you – it’s A LOT of food! I didn’t ever feel like I didn’t have enough food – it was more than enough!

Dinner was quick – three of us ordered pasta, and our one friend ordered a personal pizza. They noted that the food would be brought out at different times just due to the cooking times, but it was literally a two minute difference – we barely noticed! Our whole meal was complete in about 45 minutes; they weren’t messing around. Even though it was quick, the quality of the food as well as the service, didn’t suffer.

I ordered the eggplant parmigana, which came with a side of spagetti that was essentially a spagetti cake – it was pretty awesome!

For dessert, we all ordered the zeppolis with melted chocolate and whipped cream. They were served in a neat cone, and it felt like they were never ending! Even though I was stuffed from the eggplant and pasta, I couldn’t help myself and eat every single one. They were delicious! I think these cones are awesome, as does my fiancé, and I really want to buy some, but I don’t know where they’re sold – any ideas?

We were all quite full after dinner, and resolved ourselves to one more round of the World Showcase before heading back to our hotel. Our next day was to be jam packed with a trip to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex to grab our race bibs and goodies, as well as a day at Hollywood Studios.

It’s safe to say I was fed very well this trip, and didn’t spend a second hungry!